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Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938 / Warsaw)

I can’t sleep


I can’t sleep. Homer, and the taut white sails.
I could the list of ships read only to a half:
The long-long breed, the train of flying cranes
Had lifted once the ancient Greece above.

The wedge of cranes to alien far frontier --
On heads of kings, as foam, crowns shine --
Where do you sail? If Helen were not here,
What Troy then means for you, Achaeia’s people fine?

And Homer and the sea are moved by only love.
Whom must I listen to? Homer is silent yet,
And blackened sea with roar comes above,
Sunk in triumphant noise, head of my sleepless bed.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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